Pakistan will be polio-free by 2018, NA told

Pakistan will be  polio-free by 2018, NA told

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Monday that polio would be eradicated from Pakistan by 2018 and the Prime Minister's Health Programme would be extended to every part of the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan, soon.

The government informed the National Assembly during the Question Hour that Pakistan had taken notice of the Indian violation of the Indus Water Treaty. State Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali said in response to questions raised by different lawmakers that India was not abiding by the agreement. According to the agreement, he said, India could produce electricity only through off river power stations and it could not interfere with the water flowing towards Pakistan. He said that Pakistan would fight its case according to the procedure.

Answering a question, Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security and Research Rajab Ali Khan Baloch said the Seed Amendment Act was implemented in 2015. He said the Plant Breed Right Act was passed by the standing committee. "No progress has been made on local production of seeds so far, but new variety of seeds has been introduced over the last five years," he said.

Baloch said that former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali announced a package for peasants during his tenure, but only farmers in Punjab were given Rs 5,000 per hectare under this package. He said that growers of other three provinces were deprived of this facility.

In response to Baloch's remarks, Jamali said the federal government gave 50 percent of the package amount for farmers of each province, while provinces were supposed to give the remaining 50 percent. He said the federal government released its share of funds for Punjab farmers after the provincial government gave its share of the package. He said the governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan did not contribute even a single penny to the package for the farmers; therefore, farmers in these provinces could not benefit from this package.